A Hidden “Highest Path” Taught by Sri Yukteswar?


In the book, The Holy Science, Sri Yukteswar speaks of "Surat Shabd Yoga" as the highest & golden road of spirituality without which ultimate salvation is not possible.

Why is it then that Yogananda never seems to have either practiced or spoken of it. I learn from history that Buddha taught this only to a select few. What could have been the reason ? Thank you,

—sandy, usa


Dear Sandy,

Interesting question!

I have the Indian version of “The Holy Science”, and in it, I can’t find the reference to Surat Shabda Yoga as being “the highest & the golden road of spirituality without which ultimate salvation is not possible.”

However, what I do find is this reference to Surat Shabda Yoga in chapter 4, Sutra 9, which explains Sri Yukteswar’s meaning well:

“In the state of baptism (Bhakti Yoga, or Surat Sabda Yoga, absorption of the ego in the Holy Sound) man repents and withdraws his self from the external world of gross matters, Bhuloka, and enters into the internal one of fine matter, Bhuvarloka…. In the state of baptism (Bhakti Yoga or Surat Sabda Yoga) the Ego, Surat, the son of man, gradually passing through the seven places mentioned, acquires the knowledge thereof.”

You seem to refer to Surat Shabda Yoga as a practice. I know that a technique and path with this name exist.

Sri Yukteswar here, however, does not speak about any specific technique which Yogananda may or may not have practiced or spoken about. He instead talks about a universal path to liberation, valid for all deeply mystical paths: entering the sound of OM, and with it moving the ego-consciousness through the tunnel of the spine from one loka (patala, or chakra) to the next, until Kaivalya (oneness) is achieved.

That indeed is the highest and golden road of spirituality. Nobody will reach the goal without passing through the golden path of the seven spinal doors.

Sri Yukteswar taught devotion to the Guru and Kriya Yoga to achieve that goal. Kriya Yoga magnetizes the spine, pulling the energy and consciousness inward, lifting them upward to the Light of God.

The idea that there may be a rare and highest technique that is “taught only to a select few” would be contrary to Sri Yukteswar’s and Yogananda’s mission. As Yogananda writes in his Autobiography, part of the greatness of Kriya in this modern era is that this “highest technique of salvation” is offered freely not only to a few select souls, but to everyone who “sincerely asks for help”.

Buddha lived in another era, and maybe (I don’t know) he taught his principle technique only to a few select souls. Sri Yukteswar, at any rate, had other plans when he sent Yogananda over the ocean.

Another thought: Generally speaking I have seen that some people keep hunting for the supreme and highest technique, or (on our path) for the supreme form of Kriya Yoga. These usually are “poor workmen, finding fault with their tools.”

God bless you,